Description of Historic Place
Peter McGregor Archibald House is a one and one-half storey gable-front house located on the corner of Prince and Aberdeen Streets in the east end of Truro, NS, immediately adjacent to and facing the railway yards. Built around 1893 in the variant of Gothic Revival known locally as the “railway cottage” style, the house is one of a row of similar houses in the immediate area and dozens more on nearby streets. Both the house and its surrounding property are included in the heritage designation.
Peter McGregor Archibald House is valued as a well-preserved example of the low-cost detached housing that was constructed near the railway yards around the turn of the 20th century to house railway workers. Entire rows of houses were built to a limited number of basic plans, with the owner or tenant of an early house often building the next in the series as partial payment for his own house. Over the years, the homes have been modified by their owners to reflect individual tastes, but the underlying forms have largely been untouched.
This house is also valued for its association with Peter McGregor Archibald (1851-1922), a general merchant and developer of many of the neighborhoods in the east end of Truro. David Bell, to whom Archibald sold this house in 1893, was a stone mason, and for many years the street to the east of the house was known as Bell’s Lane.
Peter McGregor Archibald House is an excellent example of the low-cost unelaborated variant of the Gothic Revival architectural style which has become locally known as "the railway cottage". The standardized design of these homes was very suitable for owner and communal construction, and the east end of Truro features entire neighborhoods of houses in this style. The form has become closely associated with the district as a whole.
Source: Planning Department, Town of Truro, file 10MNS0059
External elements that define the heritage character of Peter McGregor Archibald House include:
- all original or historic building elements, such as: basic one and one-half storey gable-front Gothic Revival form and massing, with a small extension and enclosed porch at the rear; external chimney on the east side.
- all original or historic door and window elements, such as: narrow double-sashed windows; panelled door; moulded door and window surrounds.
- all original or historic building materials, such as: clapboard cladding; wood trim painted a contrasting colour.
- all historic site elements, such as: placement on a corner lot in a historic street plan; consistency with its neighbours in terms of placement relative to the street, construction materials, architectual style and detail, building scale, and use.